By Lucy Ashton
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is giving advice to patients who are suffering dental pain, or who think they need urgent dental care, as part of a nationwide effort to ease the pressures on our health services, and our Emergency Departments.
Emergency Departments across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are exceptionally busy and, as is the case across Scotland, many people are facing a long wait.
Scott Davidson, Deputy Medical Director at NHSGGC, said: “Patients who need the most urgent care continue to be seen most quickly, and we’re sorry that people sometimes face long waits. However, it remains the case that our Emergency Departments are seeing people who should be treated in another of our healthcare settings.”
One common reason for inappropriate presentation at Emergency Departments continues to be dental pain, and in line with the national model of care, Right Care, Right Place, NHSGGC is giving the following advice.
If you are experiencing dental pain, please do not attend an Emergency Department. If you do present with dental pain, you may not be seen, and instead you may be redirected to another service where you can access care more appropriate to your needs in the right place and at the right time for your condition.
General Dental Practices across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are open and continue to work hard to provide care to their communities, and if you are experiencing dental pain, you should contact your dental practice to request an appointment.
Your care will be prioritised based on your clinical need, and the focus will be on those who require urgent and essential care in the first instance, so when you call, reception staff will ask you some questions to work if and how quickly you need to be seen. Once appointed, your dentist will then carry out an assessment and determine the treatment you require.
Patients who are not registered with a dental practice are encouraged to do so.
Dental practices are, like the rest of the NHS, under significant pressure. However, if you have an urgent issue or require any help or information, please call the Dental Advice Helpline on 0141 201 4209 during working hours or NHS24 on 111 after hours or at weekends.
Please do not attend an Emergency Department unless the condition is very urgent or life-threatening.
Lisa Johnston, General Manager for the Oral Health Directorate at NHSGGC, said: “We are working with dental practices across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure they are able to see as many patients as possible.
“However, due to national COVID guidelines, there continue to be limits on the number of patients that can be seen, so it is particularly important that people follow the appropriate advice.
“You may have to wait longer for some aspects of routine dental care, and we’re sorry for that, but by following a few simple guidelines, you will help to ensure that your problem is addressed as quickly and safely as possible.
“And by accessing care in a way that is most appropriate for your needs, you will also help play your part in easing the wider pressures on hard-working staff across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.”